A centralized histology and microscopy software resource to disentangle gene-environmental interactions that drive fetal programming and nutrient partitioning in the dairy cow

PI: Vanessa Leone


Leone is an assistant professor of animal and dairy sciences specializing in animal biologics and metabolism at UW–Madison. Her work mainly focuses on microbes and animal health and wellness.

Leone’s project will develop a centralized DIH Histology and Microscopy Resource to be used with histology and microscopy equipment, software modules, a live-cell CO2 imaging stage, and a cryostat, to 1) progress mechanistic, histology-based research 2) teach advanced imaging using state-of-the-art equipment and 3) recruit prospective faculty performing innovative molecular, cellular, and tissue-based research. Together, this resource will advance mechanistic research addressing DIH priority areas and increase competitiveness for extramural funding opportunities. This will help understand key aspects of gene-environmental interactions driving fetal programming and nutrient partitioning/re-partitioning in the dairy cow likely impact the offspring’s downstream health, reproduction and production (i.e., milk quantity and quality). A complex web of maternal environmental exposures contributes to fetal programming, including diet, nutrition, rumen microbes, and environmental temperature.

Publication in the Journal of Dairy Science – November 2022